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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've posted on here. This is my final semester in college and it's been so busy. I hope that everyone and their hedgies have been well.

My little Ivan turned 2 back in November and since then I have been noticing a very dramatic shift in his behavior. Ivan has always been a runner but lately he's been very lethargic. Since November he's gained about 75 grams and has stopped using his wheel. On the rare occasion that he does decide to use the wheel, he just sort of walks in it, he doesn't run like he used to. He stays in his hut all the time and it's to the point where he even positions his hut so that it covers his food crock so that he doesn't even have to leave in order to eat.

I took him to the vet back in March for his semi-annual check-up and they said he was in great health and had a great temperament... That's the other big difference in him; Ivan used to be super huffy and high strung and now he snuggles and even gives kisses!

Nothing in his environment has changed and he's eating the same mix of food as he always has. I've kept his routine the same (food, water and wheel wash every morning. Handling at night. Cage clean Tuesday and Friday).The only difference in the apartment is that one of my roommates moved out.

If I didn't know any better I would think that someone had replaced my Ivan with an impostor! I've been really worried about the little guy and I was wondering if anyone has suggestions or has experienced anything similar. It's very strange and I'm not sure what to do. The vet says not worry but he's so different now.

Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I trim his nails a couple of times a month and they seem fine. He uses a comfort wheel... it seems to be spinning okay, he just doesn't want to exert the energy required to make it spin. :lol:

The apartment has been a pretty constant temperature (between 70 and 72). I don't use an under the cage heating pad... I heard they weren't the best so I've been using a heating lamp with a 150w CHE. I keep the thermostat on it set to 80 (a little high but because his cage is so open it's not contained). The digital thermometer in the cage generally reads between 76 and 78.I set him up with the heating stuff back in September so it's been pretty constant since that time. Should I get a heating pad for him?
 

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Since November he's gained about 75 grams and has stopped using his wheel.
What kind of food? Maybe he slowly gained weight, as you pointed out, and now does not feel like doing the wheel. You could slowly introduce a lower-fat food (see dry cat food list for recommendations) and see if that helps him take the weight off.
 

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xsarahjox said:
I trim his nails a couple of times a month and they seem fine. He uses a comfort wheel... it seems to be spinning okay, he just doesn't want to exert the energy required to make it spin. :lol:

The apartment has been a pretty constant temperature (between 70 and 72). I don't use an under the cage heating pad... I heard they weren't the best so I've been using a heating lamp with a 150w CHE. I keep the thermostat on it set to 80 (a little high but because his cage is so open it's not contained). The digital thermometer in the cage generally reads between 76 and 78.I set him up with the heating stuff back in September so it's been pretty constant since that time. Should I get a heating pad for him?
I think maybe LizardGirl was asking about the heating pad under his bed because if you did have one he might just prefer to stay there because of the warmth? I'm not sure so she'll have to tell you for sure :) I don't personally think heating pads under bedding areas are great because your hedgehog goes from really warm under his feet to the rest of the cage feeling really cold on his feet in comparison. He may not be so keen to leave his warm nest if you have a heating pad (I think that's why LizardGirl was asking if you had one).

The heating sounds good to me otherwise, I was wondering if maybe it was too warm at first and that was slowing him down, but 78 sounds fine to me. If there's nothing visibly wrong with him, I would say he's just gotten lazy or slowed down in older age. Comfort wheels are definitely more work for hedgehogs to spin than other wheels....maybe if you were to get him a custom wheel he would like it better and run more :)

Also like krbshappy71 said you might want to start mixing some lower fat foods into his mix so that he doesn't gain too much weight.
 

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Yup, SnufflePuff is right. I was thinking maybe he was too cozy and didn't want to get out of bed (I know I'm like that!). Looks like you have the temperature right though, so I have no idea.
 

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I know coziness can contribute to laziness!! lol
For a while I always double-blanketed Pineapple's cage and also rolled up a flap of blanket inside her igloo so that she could be more comfortable and snuggly while she slept, and she stopped running on her wheel. She also wasn't her frisky little self and seemed a bit lethargic. But one night I fell asleep with her blankets in the dryer and I woke up to her crazy pitter-pattering on the wheel! After that I stopped making her igloo too comfy and she's been running on her wheel regularly since then and she's been more active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
krbshappy71 said:
Since November he's gained about 75 grams and has stopped using his wheel.
What kind of food? Maybe he slowly gained weight, as you pointed out, and now does not feel like doing the wheel. You could slowly introduce a lower-fat food (see dry cat food list for recommendations) and see if that helps him take the weight off.
When I got the little booger he was only eating Pet Promise Healthy Weight and Aging. Between the time that I got him in July of 2009 to about November of 2009 I gradually introduced him to three new foods plus Grapenuts.

Right now his daily mix is:

2 TBSP of Pet Promise Healthy Weight and Aging (his favorite)
1 TBSP of Wellness Indoor Health
1 TBSP of Blue Buffalo Weight Control
1 TBSP of Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck
+ a sprinkling of Grapenuts
+ a couple of mealies or 1 cricket three times a week

This usually amounts to a full crock of food, though he only eats a small portion of it (I figure it's better to have the food there for him just in case). I think that I'm going to switch the Wellness to the Weight Control option and see what happens. I've also commissioned a friend of mine to make a bucket wheel... we'll see if a new toy will coax him back into activity.

His laziness is laughable sometimes. My roommate and I watched him move his igloo over his food dish and then turn it so that the entrance faced his gravity bottle. THEN the little booger dragged in his fleecie and his tube and went to sleep. When he got hungry he'd be crunching away in his hut and then just stick his head outside for a drink. Easily the smartest pet that I have ever had. :lol:
 
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